"No Pasaran"


My roots, such as they are, are somewhere in the docks of the Eastend. My family, god help them, really were pretty much born within the sound of Bow Bells. Politics - in its essential, grass roots form- has been part and parcel of my family history: my great grandmother was a Suffragette by accident, she was in service to a Suffragette and participated in Suffragist actions; one of my uncles was a communist activist and helped galvanise union actions on the Docks; another uncle was a T&GWU steward at Ford's vast - and now shut- Dagenham factory, getting lifts to meetings with Ron Todd; my mother was a voluntary International Officer for Unison; my sister an active Labour Party member; even I joined CND, protested against Clause 28, Student Loans, Apartheid, fascism, the BNP... you know the sort of thing.

Seeing as it is political party conference season - and the Cameron Tories are trying to distance themselves from the Old Right wingers (nice blog David - shame about the content) - I am reminded that not every encroaching move to the right is inevitable. I hear so much anti-arab, anti-muslim, anti-immigration cant, that it almost seems mainstream to accept this knee-jerk prejudice. We seem to accept so much without question and look to the "big" parties to guide us, but instead of guiding, they add to the spin.

Reading this story in the Guardian reminds me that direct action doesn't have to be some organised and sanitized affair, but can come as a spontaneous reaction to events. It teaches us that sometimes we shouldn't listen to the "organised" voices, but should go with our gut instinct and common humanity.

I don't know that I had any relatives at Cable Street, but I'd like to think I did - maybe Uncle Jim's dad or even my Great Grandmother - but the upcoming 70th anniversary of this iconic event serves to remind me to question and challenge more. No pasaran, indeed.

the day the nazi died
chumbawamba


we're taught that after the war
the nazis vanished without a trace
but batallions of fascists
still dream of a master race
the history books they tell of their defeat in 45
why did they all come out of the woodwork
on the day the nazi died

they say the prisoner of spandau
was a symbol of defeat
whilst hess remained imprisoned
then the fascists they were beat
so the promise of an aryan world would never materialise
so why did they all come out of the woodwork
on the day the nazi died

the world is ridden by maggots
the maggots are getting fat
they're making a tasty meal
of all the bosses and bureacrats
they're taking over the board rooms
and they're fat and full of pride
and they all came out of the woodwork
on the day the nazi died

so if you meet with these historians
i'll tell you what to say
tell them that the nazis never really went away
they're out there burning houses down
and they're peddling racist lies
and we'll never rest again
until every nazi dies

2 comments:

hobohomo said...

Appologies in advance for my completely irrelevant comment, and for any traces of 'wierdo' that may be present. The things is I desperately need somewhere to live in Edinburgh and wondered if you could recommend any places to look for shared flats? Gumtree seems good but hasn't been very gay-friendly in my experience! I need to be out of my current place in 7 days time (through no fault of my own!) and am in a panic. Any suggestions appreciated.

Many thanks.

The Gripes of Wrath said...

Only thing I could suggest would be to look on the noticeboard at the Blue Moon.. otherwise, I'm stumped.

Anyone else got any suggestions? (-sorry not to be of anymore help...)